Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Packing List

I've already been asked by several people what it is that I plan to take on a one-way "adventure" (read: low-budget) trip that will take me to remote places, require me to be quite self-sufficient, and may last many months or a couple of years.

I've been quite fortunate to have taken more than a few month-long (or more) trips to "emerging nations" before, and -- while I'd love to say it's taught me to whittle my list down to the bare essentials -- it hasn't :-)

What it HAS taught me is that -- if I think I might need it, and I'm SURE I can comfortably lug it -- I should take it along.  The only thing that I ever toted to more than a few countries, but never used, was a  very small and lightweight hammock.

It's not going ;-)

So here's the list.  I haven't trial-packed it, yet, so ... there WILL be an issue of "what actually FITS," but ... this is the stuff that I either had easy access to or ordered, and that should be awaiting me in my hotel room, when I get back there, next week.

So ... THE LIST:

Backup glasses
Day Pack + Water Bladder
Eagle Creek Packing Cubes
Eyeglass retaining straps
Gerber Multi-Tool
Hiking shorts
Safety pins
Luggage locks + cable
Mosquito net + repellent gizmo
Antibiotic ointment
Crushproof eyeglass case
Fever thermometer
Goggles case for SWIM goggles
Hard soap container
Immodium A-D
Antifungal ointment
Cortisone cream
Cat-Crap goggle cleaner/anti-fog
Buf-Puf (for scrubbing feet etc)
Extra shoelaces for Garmonts
UV Pen water sterilizer
Rx swim goggles
Long pants
Underwear - briefs
Hiking shoes
Stuff sacks
Nature's Eyes Tear Eye Mist
Ayr Nasal Gel
AC Plug Adapters
10X mirror
Adidas trail running shoes
Backpack rain cover
Bathing suit
Camera batteries
Camera charger
Compression Travel Sacks
Do rags + bandanas
Ear plugs
Flat sink stopper
Glasses cleaning cloths
Goggle case for Uvex
Goldfish bowl glasses
Guide books
Hiking socks
Keychain flaslight
Lashing straps
Lip balm
Long-sleeve shirts
Main glasses w/clip-ons
Marmot fleece pullover
Money belt
Muro 128 ointment
My holy wool sweater
Notebook charger
Notebook computer
Notebook sleeve
Nylon belt
Nylon mesh bags
Nylon wallet
OR gloves + shells
Paracord 550
Pocket Spanish dictionary
Rain hat
Rain jacket
Rain pants
Scrub bottoms (sleepwear)
SD Memory cards
Shoe bag
Toiletry kit
Underwear - base layer
Viscose towel
Waterproof pens
Waterproof pouches
Wool watch cap
Xenon flaslight + spare batteries
International cell phone

I'll update the list, after I've fine tuned it WITH my backpack -- an oldie but a goodie that has been with me around the world.

I'll also try to weight it, to give an idea of how much tonnage I'll be required to float.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I packed my bag, last night, preflight

In late March of this year, I'll be heading out -- The Big Out.

First stop is to spend some time with a charity that I used to support.  I sponsored a child, helped -- financially -- with the construction of a school and a clinic, and ... bought them a goat.

Because a goat is universally considered to be The Perfect Gift :-)

But I'm going to see the village that I 'helped,' many years ago, along with my cousin and the President of the charity, Frances Dixon.

It's been a profoundly difficult 3-1/2 years for me.  Too much stuff to detail -- some of it, I'm legally bound (court-ordered Gag Order) NOT to discuss, at all.

Which should say enough, all by itself.

In 6/2012, I moved out of my house, and into a cheap hotel.

In 11/2012, I flew to California, to help my mother.  In 3/2012, HER neighbors burned down THEIR condo, causing significant damage to my mother's house, in the process.

I came for three weeks, but stayed for four months.  She needed lots of help.  I did what I could.

I was born with lousy eyes and a banged-up immune system.  The eyes took me out of work on several, multi-year, occasions.  Each time, through dint of tenacity, I found my way back to work.  The last time, though, I was prescribed eye drops, which -- after 6-1/2 years -- burned my corneas.  I now suffer from the OLD issues, AND the burned eye thing.

So ... I'm heading to the tropics.

From California, I've handled most of the necessary logistics to prepare for this trip.  I've also spent a few bucks, at, buying what I'll need FOR the trip.  I have a lot of travel stuff, already, but ... it lives in the inner sanctum of a 10' x 25' x 10' storage space that is packed to the rafters with my Worldlies.

I've traveled before.  It's my passion.  But never have I gone out into the world as a medically disabled man.  This one ... well ... it's new to me.

I also travel with the aforementioned Primary Immune Dysfunction, and the recently acquired diagnosis of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder -- neither of which takes up a great deal of room in my backpack, but ... both of which constitute a large part of the baggage that I'll carry with me ;-)

And so it goes.

And so will I.

I'll be blogging along the way.  I have severe difficulty reading, but ... can usually type fairly well without looking.  I glance, occasionally, to be sure my fingers are still on the keyboard's "home row," but ... don't we all ??

The Gulag was once a place, but now ... it's a state of being; a condition.

So it's still The View From the Gulag, but ... soon ... the view will be vastly different, and ever-changing.

I'll keep you posted.

I'll open up the comments section.  Also, I can be reached by e-mail.